It was great to be back meeting colleagues from across the sector and sharing experiences of the past 18 months at last week’s RESI Convention, but also more importantly to look ahead.
The most valuable conversations I had were about how we channel what we’ve learned during the pandemic into creating new communities, focusing on sustainability and customer engagement.
As much as we were looking ahead, Covid reminders were dotted around, from the still-mandatory mask wearing in Wales to the hybrid conference format beaming speakers into the venue from around the UK.
Interestingly, parts of the conference remaining virtual complemented the mindset we have at Moda of using technology to optimise the experiences of our residents as well enhance our own team’s productivity.
I had the pleasure of taking part in a panel discussion on enhancing experience through tech. For me, the crucial point about technology in buildings and services is that you don’t want the user to even fully register they’re using it. The simpler and more seamless the experience, the more successful your product is and the more effective the technology.
The MyModa app, for example, has been specifically designed for residents to be able to engage with Moda and their communities with a thumbprint. They can manage their tenancy, arrange activities, speak to the concierge and book a gym class all in one easy-to-use interface.
The accessibility of the app has also contributed to the physical communities at Angel Gardens in Manchester. If you’ve recently moved in, despite being made to feel welcome in your new home, showing up to an event in a room full of people you don’t know is, for most, going to be a daunting experience.
Plug into the community
However, once you’ve downloaded the app, scrolled through the resident forums and found a couple of resident-run groups you might like to join and said hello virtually – which is second nature to many of our residents – you’re already plugged into the community.
This natural digital engagement creates organic communities within our neighbourhoods. There’s a fine line between organising brilliant events and veering into Big Brother territory, so having the tech to help our communities foster themselves is crucial.
The philosophy of subconscious engagement with our technology extends to ESG as well. Utilising technology to underpin our approach to ESG and monitor the effectiveness of our strategy is one of our top priorities at Moda, and our residents contribute to that progress indirectly via the wellness sensors installed in each of our homes and amenity spaces.
The sensors monitor the environment for them, including temperature and air quality among other markers, providing a wellness score to ensure the resident is as comfortable in their home as possible, all without them having to think about it.
Meanwhile, the data the sensors gather paints a very detailed picture for Moda of how people want to live in our buildings and how they utilise the amenities spaces, so that as we continue to build out our pipeline, we are continually developing our design principles and creating optimum living experiences.
My key takeaway from RESI was that Moda Living, and our colleagues from around the sector, have big plans for how we can use technology to build the best living experiences in the UK for our residents. And the best part is, they won’t even notice.
Dan Brooks is a director at Moda Living